The Most Shocking NFL Draft Day Selections in the Last 20 Years

Scott CarasikContributor IIApril 24, 2013

The Most Shocking NFL Draft Day Selections in the Last 20 Years

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    "Oh. My. God."

    "My team did not just select that player!"

    "What in the world are they thinking?!"

    "Looks like they're going 2-14 this year."

    The NFL draft is full of shocking decisions that will continually breed the responses that make people question whether a general manager or a fan is even in charge of the franchise.

    These reactions can range from mild surprises like in 2010 when Washington took Trent Williams over a slightly higher rated Russell Okung to a "WHAT IN THE WORLD?!" that the Tyson Alualu pick of the same draft elicited.

    Follow along as we travel back through time and explore the most shocking draft day selections in the last 20 years.

46: Green Bay Selecting Justin Harrell at No. 16 Overall in 2007

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    Starting with the most mild surprise on the list, we have Justin Harrell. He was widely regarded as a late first- to early second-round pick at best (h/t AOL News). This was mainly due to a multitude of injuries that he had in college despite solid talent.

    However, the Packers decided to take him at No. 16 overall in one of the biggest reaches of the Ted Thompson era. He never showed that he was worthy of the selection and later fizzled out of the league with a whopping 14 games played and 28 tackles made.

45: Atlanta Trading Up to No. 1 Overall for Michael Vick in 2001

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    In what was a no-brainer of a trade to make for any other general manager, the shocking part of the Atlanta Falcons trade up for Michael Vick was that it was Dan Reeves behind the trade.

    While Reeves was a good coach, he was a terrible personnel man and had control over in-name-only general manager Harold Richardson because Rankin Smith Jr. was too cheap to bring in a true general manager to team with him.

    However, the Vick trade did exactly what it was supposed to do despite being a shock. The Falcons became relevant enough for the Smiths to finally sell the team to current owner Arthur Blank. 

44: Tennessee Selecting Jake Locker in the 2011 NFL Draft's Top 10

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    Jake Locker wasn't expected to go in the top 10. He was barely even expected to go in the first round by most pundits leading up to the draft.

    But there he went. In the top 10. To the Tennessee Titans, who needed a quarterback more than Jerry Jones in Dallas needs a GM. 

    So they took Jake Locker, and he's still trying to prove that he's worthy of his selection. He has earned the right of being a captain and the starting job for the Titans, though. Let's just see if he can earn it.

43: Minnesota Taking Troy Williamson Top 7 After Trading Away Randy Moss in 2005

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    While the Vikings have made some bad moves in the past, this move was considered shocking due to what they had to trade to get this pick—multi-time Pro Bowl receiver Randy Moss

    And while Troy Williamson was fast, he had horrible hands and should have never been selected in the top 10 picks of the draft. The former Gamecock was just awful in the NFL and his career numbers of 87 catches, 1,131 yards and four touchdowns were what the Vikings were expecting out of him every season.

    They lost one of the best receivers of all time because they couldn't understand his value. And in the end, they got the most minimal return they could get for him.

42: Atlanta Trades 2000 1st Round Pick to Select TE Reggie Kelly in 1999 Round 2

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    In one of the most shocking moves of the 1999 draft, Dan Reeves traded away a 2000 first-round pick for a second-round pick that eventually became blocking tight end Reggie Kelly.

    What this didn't take into account is that the Falcons already had O.J. Santiago coming off the best year of his career and the Falcons needed to keep that future first-round pick to maintain momentum.

    However, after a down year in 1999, the Falcons would have gladly enjoyed the No. 5 overall pick in 2000. Unfortunately, the Ravens had it. And they selected a key piece to their first championship with it—RB Jamal Lewis.

41: Tampa Bay Selecting Mark Barron at No. 7 Overall in 2012

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    Widely considered as worthy of a late first-round caliber selection, the Buccaneers traded down in 2012 and picked up their top player on the board—strong safety Mark Barron.

    While the Alabama safety was definitely worthy of a first-round selection, being selected in the top seven picks of the 2012 draft was a shock to most watching the draft.

    So far, the selection looks good though as Barron turned in a solid year for the Buccaneers as a rookie. If Darrelle Revis can revert to form with the Buccaneers, Barron's job will become even easier in 2013.

40: New York Jets Making Keyshawn Johnson 3rd WR in History to Go No. 1 Overall

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    In 1996, the New York Jets needed a wide receiver for their newly signed Super Bowl-leading quarterback, Neil O'Donnell. So they made an extremely rare pick at the top of the draft and instead of taking a running back or even quarterback, they decided to roll the dice on a receiver out of Southern California.

    Fortunately, they looked like geniuses. Despite his outlandish and flamboyant attitude, Keyshawn Johnson did well as a receiver his rookie year. But even more than that, he improved every season until the Jets traded him away before the 2000 draft.

    In total, Keyshawn Johnson gave the New York Jets four seasons, 305 catches, 4,108 yards and 31 touchdowns. On top of that, when he was traded, it was for two first-round picks that they later selected tight end Anthony Becht and stalwart defensive end Shaun Ellis with.

39: Cincinnati Taking RB Chris Perry in the 1st Round of the 2004 NFL Draft

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    There were a ton of really good running backs in the 2004 NFL draft. From Kevin Jones and Tatum Bell to Steven Jackson and Julius Jones to Michael Turner and Mewelde Moore, the 2004 draft had quite a few guys who made a name for themselves in their NFL careers.

    However, on draft day, the biggest surprise was when Chris Perry was taken before both Julius and Kevin Jones. The Michigan graduate was taken by the Bengals as part of a plan to restore their running game to serviceable levels.

    Unfortunately, his career was short-lived and unproductive. His 117 career carries for 606 yards was the worst production out of any of the first-round running backs of the 2004 draft.

38: Atlanta Selecting T.J. Duckett in the First Round of the 2002 NFL Draft

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    Yes, another Atlanta move made by Dan Reeves.

    Coincidence? No. Just ineptitude.

    Reeves decided in 2002 that the Falcons needed to base their offense around Michael Vick and the running game. That made a ton of sense especially considering the promise that Vick had at the time. However, Reeves forgot that Vick had a monster arm and needed a deep threat.

    The Falcons also had needs at defensive end and wide receiver. So instead of taking big-time, deep threat wide receiver Ashley Lelie, the Falcons went with T.J. Duckett to be a power back as a change of pace to the speed of the newly signed Warrick Dunn and Michael Vick.

    The move didn't work out as planned and the very next season, the Falcons were trading their first-round pick for a player they thought was that deep threat in Peerless Price.

37: Jacksonville Trading Up for Derrick Harvey in Top 10 of the 2008 Draft

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    Derrick Harvey was another one of those picks that people started scratching their head once he was selected. It wasn't that he was taken in the top 10 alone that made this pick questionable.

    It was the fact that Gene Smith traded with Ozzie Newsome of the Ravens for the pick that made it extremely questionable. He moved from No. 26 overall to No. 8 for a talent that originally looked like one that would fall to them at 26.

    Then again, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." But there's nothing beautiful about trading up for a defensive end who can't pass rush. Harvey finished his career in just four years with a combined 8.0 sacks.

36: The Chargers Selecting K Nate Kaeding on the 2004 Draft's First Day

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    Any time a kicker is drafted in the first three rounds not only is it a surprising move, but it's also a downright stupid one. 

    Drafted kickers rarely make an impact that an undrafted or unrestricted free agent kicker could not make. Nate Kaeding may have been the best kicker in the draft, but his selection was both surprising and stupid.

    His career 86.2 percent hit rate is very good. But when you realize that many kickers go undrafted and can do right around the same, it makes Kaeding's selection look even stupider.

35: New Orleans Making Offensive Guard Chris Naeole a Top 10 Pick

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    There's a reason why Chris Naeole was the last guard to be selected in the top 10 of the 1997 NFL draft: guard is not positionally important in the NFL. 

    So when the Saints strolled up to the podium and selected Naeole, it was a bit of a shock. However, Naeole had an excellent career for both the Saints and the Jaguars.

    He appeared in 154 games with 150 starts during his career. His talented play spanned 12 seasons. However, neither the Saints nor the Jaguars were able to win a Super Bowl despite his presence on the team.

34: Cleveland Selecting William Green over T.J. Duckett in 2002's 1st Round

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    William Green was a great player on the field at Boston College. There's no question about that. However, he was suspended twice for marijuana usage (h/t ESPN), and that was something that should have hurt his standing with NFL teams. 

    Unfortunately for the Browns, they still decided to take him over T.J. Duckett despite Duckett being considered a better player at the time. However, the Browns still took Green.

    Duckett wound up having a better and longer career while Green was known more for off-the-field incidents —like his girlfriend stabbing him (h/t ESPN)—than his play on the field.

33: Oakland Taking S Michael Mitchell in 2009's Second Round

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    While the Raiders had already developed a penchant for taking players based more on their 40 times than their on-field skills, this pick was still a shock as Michael Mitchell was barely a top 200 player according to his game film.

    But, nonetheless, the Raiders still took him in the second round, and he was completely overdrafted by the legendary Al Davis. His career has been nothing short of horrible, too. 

    A second-round pick is supposed to be one who will be able to start long term for the team after some seasoning. Mitchell has started only a couple handfuls of games and looks like a true draft bust. 

    He has since moved on to the Carolina Panthers to compete with the equally terrible Haruki Nakamura.

32: Dwight Freeney Going Top 11 in the 2002 Draft to the Colts

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    While this pick looks great in retrospect because of 107.5 career sacks over his 11 years in Indianapolis, this was an insane pick on draft day. Dwight Freeney was considered an undersized pass rusher who knew nothing but a spin move and couldn't stop the run.

    He was considered a solid mid-first round pick at best (h/t NFL Draft Scout). However, his selection at No. 11 overall was unconventional and showed that Tony Dungy had full control of the defense.

    In the end, the pass rusher has had the last laugh...and so have the Colts.

31: Nnamdi Asomugha Going in 2003's 1st Round to Oakland

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    Despite being considered a top 10 cornerback in the 2003 draft, Nnamdi Asomugha wasn't expected to go in the first round.

    Had Al Davis not fallen in love with the Golden Bear's speed, he probably would have never selected Asomugha and who knows how far he would have slipped?

    The ending of this one is different than the Raiders other speed-based picks. Asomugha is still one of the top 20 cornerbacks in the league—11 years later.

30: San Diego Taking, Then Trading Eli Manning to the Giants in 2004

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    This whole situation was a complete cluster of shocking moves. The first was Eli Manning being taken at No. 1 overall by the Chargers. While Manning was expected to go No. 1 since the moment he graduated, he had a hissy fit about going to San Diego (h/t NFL.com) so he was then traded to New York.

    Three picks later, Philip Rivers was selected by the Giants as the main chip to swap for Manning. The even more shocking part—especially for San Diego's Drew Brees—was that they kept Rivers to build the franchise around. 

    San Diego won the trade in the short term getting more instantly talented players. But the Giants have two championships from taking Eli. So it's safe to say this is a win-win.

29: Oakland Taking Fabian Washington in 2005's 1st Round

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    Another one of Al Davis's 40-yard dash picks.

    Fabian Washington's 4.29 speed is what vaulted him into first-round consideration because his talent at Nebraska wasn't worthy of a first-round pick. 

    While this wasn't as shocking considering who took him, the fact that Washington even went in the first round was shocking. He was a mid-second round talent at best.

28: New York Jets Trading Up to No. 5 Overall for Mark Sanchez in 2009

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    The craziness of the 2009 draft was completely related to the surprise New York Jets trade up for Mark Sanchez to be the replacement for Brett Favre.

    On draft day, Sanchez was definitely worth the pick, but there were questions as to how the Jets would have even had the ammo to get the pick for Sanchez.

    Surprise!

    The Cleveland Browns (of course!) were the team who decided that a first, second, DE Kenyon Coleman, S Abram Elam and QB Brett Ratliff was the best compensation for Sanchez. On the bright side, it looks like Cleveland actually won that trade.

27: Cincinnati Taking David Pollack in 2005's 1st Round as a Linebacker

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    While David Pollack was definitely a great athlete and player at Georgia, he was a defensive end and looked to be drafted as a defensive end in the middle of the first round.

    So when Cincinnati took him in 2005, everyone naturally assumed it was to play as the weakside defensive end in Marvin Lewis' 4-3 scheme. Oh, how wrong we were. 

    Because Pollack showed that his athleticism was top notch at the combine, the Bengals decided to move him to strong-side linebacker and a stand-up blitzing end in 3-3-5 nickel packages.

    Unfortunately, a neck injury ended Pollack's career. So instead of him being a true conversion to linebacker, he's a "what could have been" story.

26: Minnesota Selecting Adrian Peterson in 2007 at No. 7 Overall

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    The Vikings had just signed Chester Taylor the previous year, and Taylor was just coming off of the best year of his career with 1,216 yards and six touchdowns.

    So what do the Vikings do at No. 7 overall?

    They take Adrian Peterson—the next great NFL running back.

    The shock isn't that they took such a great player. Because Peterson was more than worthy of the No. 1 overall selection in 2007. The shock is that they decided to take a running back with one of the best young low-mileage backs on their roster as the starter.

    In the end, this pick looks way better in hindsight, but at the time, it shocked everyone because Minnesota had much, much bigger needs than a running back.

25: Minnesota Selecting Tarvaris Jackson in 2006's 2nd Round

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    The Minnesota Vikings came out of left field and took a prospect who shouldn't have been taken in the draft's first five rounds.

    Tarvaris Jackson was a sixth- to seventh-round projection by most outlets at the time, yet the Vikings decided to take him in the second round.

    As a result, they looked like fools on the day of the draft and shocked the world with the selection.

    Unfortunately, they looked even stupider when they released him after the 2010 season because he could never live up to being the starting quarterback that he should have been.

24: Houston Taking Mario Williams No. 1 Overall in 2006

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    In 2006, the question for the Houston Texans leading into the draft seemed to be whether they would go with Matt Leinart from Southern Cal or Vince Young to be their franchise quarterback.

    There were also outside pockets that thought a Reggie Bush selection would make sense with the newly hired Gary Kubiak bringing in his zone-blocking scheme and West Coast style passing game. 

    Yet, the Texans reached a draft day deal with someone completely unexpected—defensive end Mario Williams. And the best part about this is that they wound up making the smartest move as Williams has easily had the best career of the four players.

23: Nick Fairley Being Drafted by the Lions in 2011

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    With Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams already starting at defensive tackle for the Lions, there were many other needs to get filled in the 2011 draft. Yet, when Nick Fairley fell to them, they just felt compelled to take him to eventually team with Suh.

    Why take a defensive tackle when you already have a great pairing there?

    But they did just that. And while Fairley still hasn't had the greatest career just yet, he's only two years into it. When the pairing of Fairley and Suh can start together this season, the Lions will have one of the best interior tandems in the NFL.

22: Jacksonville Taking Matt Jones in the 1st Round in 2005

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    While Matt Jones was considered on draft day to be a fringe first-round selection, the fact that he was selected in the first round despite no true position or experience as a receiver was borderline insane.

    Then again, what more could you expect from the mid-2000's Jaguars?

    Jones made the Jaguars regret this pick by being a complete headache off the field. Despite never gaining over 1,000 receiving yards or five touchdowns in a season, the Jaguars decided the headache just wasn't worth it anymore after a 2008 arrest for cocaine possession.

21: Kansas City Taking Tyson Jackson 3rd Overall in 2009

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    Tyson Jackson was never considered more than a solid-to-mid-first round selection for the 2009 draft. Yet, the Kansas City Chiefs decided to take him third overall.

    The shocking part about this pick was the fact that they took someone that plays a non-premium position so high. Jackson was never known as a pass rusher and his potential in the NFL was never as one.

    His career high amount of sacks in a season is 3.0. As a 3-4 defensive end, that kind of pass rushing production is perfectly fine. However, as a No. 3 overall pick, it just doesn't make any sense. It didn't make any sense then and makes even less sense now.

20: Aaron Rodgers Falling into Green Bay's Waiting Arms in 2005

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    While most of these shocks are a player going too high, this one is the complete opposite. When Aaron Rodgers fell in the 2005 NFL draft, it was almost alarming to see. 

    Then when the Packers of all teams took him to learn from the aging Bret Favre, everything fell into place. By the time Favre moved on, Rodgers was ready to take the reins and be the long-term starter for the Packers.

    And much like the man he replaced, Rodgers has already won a Super Bowl with the Packers within his first four years starting. The Packers are a yearly contender and they look like the smartest team from the 2005 draft with this pick.

19: Bruce Irvin Going No. 15 Overall in 2012 to the Seahawks

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    Coming into the 2012 draft, Bruce Irvin looked to be a mid-second round pick. However, he had one special talent that could have made him a top notch player in the NFL—his speed rush.

    But no one ever thought that the undersized pass rusher from West Virginia would have been taken in the first round.

    Pete Carroll shocked the world with this one. As a rotational pass rusher in 2012, he still had 8.0 sacks and was an impact player when he was on the field in the playoffs. His future is bright and as of now, Carroll looks like the intelligent one.

18: The 49ers Selecting A.J. Jenkins in the 1st Round in 2012

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    The San Francisco 49ers made one of the most confusing picks in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. A.J. Jenkins was wholly over-drafted by the 49ers at No. 30 overall despite him ending with a third-round grade from most draft outlets.

    Jenkins had a bad rookie year—especially considering his draft position. He was only targeted once all season and didn't catch a ball. 

    Not exactly the rookie campaign someone who gets over-drafted like he did should be putting up there. So this offseason, he is spending time with Colin Kaepernick trying to get timing down so that he may have a shot at the starting job.

17: Minnesota Taking Christian Ponder in Top Half of the 1st in 2011

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    Did someone say something about taking a third-round caliber player in the first round? 

    Because that's what happened when the Vikings took Christian Ponder in the top 12 picks of the 2011 draft.

    Sure, when you need a quarterback, it makes sense to go after the one that you want the most. 

    But when no one is expecting it, it shocks the world. Looking back on it, Ponder shouldn't have been as shocking of a pick as he was because the Vikings showed a ton of interest pre-draft.

    Unfortunately, the people who are looking more like geniuses right now are the fans and analysts. Ponder has been unable to make the offense his in Minnesota and will always be just a complementary quarterback.

16: New Orleans Taking Deuce McAllister in 2001's 1st Round

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    Just two years after trading a king's ransom for Ricky Williams, the New Orleans Saints decided to spend their very next first-round pick on what? 

    Another running back. This time, it was Deuce McAllister.

    Surprisingly enough, McAllister was a better pick than Williams was two years prior. However, a running back made no sense when the last first-round picks made were a ridiculous trade up to secure Ricky.

15: Reggie Williams Going in the Top 10 to Jacksonville in 2004

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    Reggie Williams was never really worth the top 10 pick he was selected with. 

    However, on draft day, he was taken by a team with Jimmy Smith on it as the No. 1 receiver. It was a bit unique in that the Jaguars were hoping for the Reggie Wayne-Marvin Harrison style situation long term.

    That never materialized as Williams had just 189 catches for 2,322 yards and 18 touchdowns total over the five years of his career.

    Then no one found it worth their time to even keep him on a roster.

14: The Bills Taking Donte Whitner No. 8 Overall in 2006

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    Yes. Donte Whitner is a Pro Bowl safety and one of the better natural talents at the position. 

    However, in 2006, Whitner was considered a fringe first-round talent and not one of the top 10 guys. The Bills didn't care about that and took him No. 8 overall.

    While Whitner was solid for the Bills and the Pro Bowl selection proves that he wasn't a complete bust, Whitner still shouldn't have been the selection for the Bills in that draft with so many better options available at No. 8 overall.

13: Maurice Clarett Even Being Drafted in 2005

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    Maurice Clarett, oh, how no one wanted to ever know thee...

    From performing at a level that helped Ohio State win a national championship to suing the NFL to attempt to get into the league, Clarett's story is ridiculously complex.

    It led to him being drafted in the third round in 2005. However, he never even lived up to a seventh-round selection and likely should have never been drafted. 

    He's a simple case of a guy who has all the talent in the world but never wanted to work. All I needed to see about why Clarett never made it in the NFL is explained here by fellow Bleacher Report analyst Ryan Riddle—who was on a roster with him:

    @lancezierlein @caplannfl as all the guys busted their butts, Clarett just sat there & watched the whole thing wishing he was somewhere else

    — Ryan Riddle (@Ryan_Riddle) April 24, 2013

    When a guy is either physically or mentally checked out the whole time, that's all that really needs to be known for a team to be completely out on that player. And it's likely why Clarett never made it out of training camp.

12: Brady Quinn Falling to 22 and Cleveland Trading Up for Him in 2007

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    One of those, "What in the world?" scenarios was when Brady Quinn somehow slipped to the early 20's in the 2007 NFL draft.

    While most teams were pretty much set at quarterback, the Browns had a huge need for one and decided to trade up for the big-name, home-state player.

    The shocking part here wasn't that Cleveland was smart enough to trade up for him. It was that Quinn actually fell to the early 20s.

    Had Quinn actually panned out for the Browns, they would have been a much better team overall. But he wasn't and is already looking at his fourth team during his NFL career.

11: The Bills Trading Up for John McCargo in 2006's First Round

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    Despite having multiple first-round picks in the 2006 NFL draft, the Bills didn't understand what to do with either one of them. It was like they were just going for pure shock value with every single selection.

    John McCargo was just another one of the selections that made everyone from the fans of the teams to Mel Kiper himself go, "Huh?!" 

    And unfortunately, like many of the others in this article, McCargo never lived up to expectations for the Bills. The fact that he was the target as a trade up still boggles my mind to this day.

10: Oakland Selecting Darrius Heyward-Bey No. 7 Overall in 2009

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    Another Oakland pick, another shocking 40-yard dash time being selected. The only thing that makes this pick so shocking is that the Raiders actually followed their same pattern.

    Most were expecting Michael Crabtree—a Texas Tech selection who was widely regarded as the top receiver in the draft that year—to be the selection. That never worked out, though, as the speedy Darrius Heyward-Bey turned out to be the selection.

    The reaction that Crabtree had was more priceless than the actual pick of Heyward-Bey. He had a look on his face like, "Only the Raiders would do something this stupid." 

    Guess what, Michael?

    You weren't alone.

9: Ted Ginn Going in the Top 10 of the 2007 Draft to Miami

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    In 2007, Miami's biggest need was a quarterback, and Brady Quinn had fallen right into their laps at No. 9 overall. So what do they do?

    They take Teddy Ginn Jr.

    A wide receiver known for speed and not actual receiving talent.

    He also was an extremely good return man and one of the best all-around talents in the draft that year. However, the fact that Miami took a receiver with no one to throw it to him was more shocking than anything else.

8: The Jets Taking Mike Nugent in the Second Round of the 2005 Draft

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    Mike Nugent going in the second round of the 2005 NFL draft is one of the most shocking selections because of what I like to call, "the kicker/punter rule."

    That states that kickers and punters are pretty much replaceable, as replacement-level players are readily available and extremely cheap.

    Nugent doesn't fit as someone who is exceptionally over a replacement-level kicker. So why did the Jets take him in the second round of the draft?

    I don't know. I'm still wondering.

7: Oakland Selects Sebastian Janikowski in the 1st Round in 2000

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    The Raiders drafts from Al Davis's later life should be excluded from the record. They are just littered with picks that make you say "Why, Al? Why? I thought you just wanted to win, baby!"

    Sebastian Janikowski is another one of those picks.

    His career 80.6 field-goal percentage doesn't make sense as a first-round pick. His booming leg doesn't even make sense as being worth a first-round pick.

    But Davis still made the selection. Janikowski is still with the Raiders to this day and taking a 13-plus year starter is always a great idea in the first round.

    But when that player has just one Pro Bowl and one All-Pro selection and it's 11 years after being drafted, it's probably understandable why the kicker/punter rule exists.

6: Atlanta Trades Up from 27 to 6 to Select WR Julio Jones in 2011

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    The Atlanta Falcons traded two first-, one second- and two fourth-round picks to go up and get one of the most explosive wide receivers since Calvin Johnson in the 2011 NFL draft.

    When that Browns logo turned into a Falcons logo on the screen at No. 6 overall, it was one of the most exciting moments I've ever seen from any sort of ESPN crew. 

    Thomas Dimitroff had not just done something insane at the time. He had selected a player who would likely not have his biggest impact until after his rookie season.

    Yet, the selection of Julio Jones has been one of the best moves for the Falcons in the past five years. He's a go-to receiver who Matt Ryan already has an excellent connection with. Jones already has 133 catches for 2,157 yards and 18 touchdowns in just his first two seasons.

5: Mike Ditka Trading His Entire Soul for Ricky Williams in 1999

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    This is the trade in which Mike Ditka went from the guy who was the reason for the Super Fans' jokes to the renowned horrible coach that led the Saints.

    The trade up on draft day was all of the Saints' 1999 draft picks as well as their 2000 first- and third-round picks to the Redskins for the right to select Ricky Williams.

    The shock value was that no one was expecting Ditka to go temporarily insane. Unfortunately, this trade set back the Saints three years. And it only got worse two years later.

    At least Ricky was worthy of the selection. He had over 10,000 career yards on the ground and is one of just 27 players in NFL history to have done so.

4: Jacksonville Selecting Bryan Anger in 2012's 3rd Round

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    OK, seriously?

    Have these teams not learned already that taking kickers and punters doesn't work?

    The selection of Bryan Anger with much bigger needs than a punter is just one of the horrible moves on here that led to Gene Smith getting fired. 

    Unfortunately, there is no excuse for a pick like a punter in the third round. Punters don't change or win games. They just slightly adjust field position. You can find a cheap punter in the late rounds or undrafted ranks.

3: Denver Trading Up in 2010 to Take Tim Tebow in the 1st Round

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    Tim Tebow was a mobile quarterback with poor mechanics and no reason to go before the end of the second round. So of course, Denver trades up for him and decides that he's the ideal fit long term for Josh McDaniels' offense.

    The only problem with this is that McDaniels gets fired before he can even install Tebow as his long-term starter. So in 2011 when John Fox takes over, Tebow somehow gets the Broncos to win games and eventually the AFC West.

    But now? He's just the Jets' personal punt protector. Even when it comes to bad picks and surprise picks, the Broncos trading up in 2010 for Tebow is a good bit of both.

2: Tyson Alualu Going No. 10 Overall to the Jaguars in 2010

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    Tyson Alualu is called as the No. 10 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Gene Smith's leash gets just a little bit shorter. And the Jaguars get questioned to this day about the pick.

    While Alualu made sense even as early as the second round for the Jaguars, him going in the first round was an unmitigated reach that made almost every pick after it look sane.

    Alualu has been a solid run-stuffing player, but he will have to improve on his pocket-collapsing presence to show that he's been worthy of the selection. 

    Right now, his career path is looking like he is nothing more than a four- or five-sack guy that will play for a long time in the NFL.

1: Minnesota Vikings Pass on 2003 Pick. Select DT Kevin Williams 2 Slots Later

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    If there is one move that was the most shocking in NFL history, it's when Minnesota decided to pass on its selection in 2003 and then got skipped. Preying on the stupidity of the Vikings, not just the Jaguars, but the Panthers got their selections in before Minnesota could.

    So Jacksonville took their guy in Byron Leftwich.

    Then, Carolina got their guy in Jordan Gross.

    Then, Minnesota still somehow got Kevin Williams—their original target—despite the idiocy of this situation. Williams has been a great fit for the Vikings and despite the cluster that this was, Minnesota surprisingly won by having the best pick of the three as well. 

     

    All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.

    Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.